Grocery stores grapple with high demand as residents react to coronavirus spread
The Park Record
Mike Holm, owner of The Market at Park City, barely had time to speak Monday morning. He and the rest of his staff were busy stocking shelves and sanitizing common areas, he said, and it’s been frantically busy since last week.
“It feels like everything we get in is selling as quickly as we can stock it,” he said. “It’s been an onslaught. I’ve never seen a rush on grocery stores like we’re seeing now and I’ve been in this business 40 years.”
Holm said The Market staff is working hard to keep shelves stocked, and patrons are making do with what is available. The problem, he said, is nationwide. Because grocery stores all over are placing such large orders, there has been a delay in receiving them.
“If we place an order Monday morning, it’s not going to arrive until Wednesday morning, or maybe Tuesday night at the earliest,” he said. “The trucks are just too full, and there are only so many of them, only so many drivers. We’re two days behind on our orders.”
Support Local Journalism
Bananas and other produce have been relatively easy to get and to keep stocked. Staple items like bread and nonperishables like flour, canned goods and cleaning products, though, are in high demand. Holm said The Market has none of those things in reserve.
“As soon as those things arrive they are going straight out onto shelves,” he said.
Furthermore, Holm said, distributors are having to ration what they deliver. He is passing that restriction onto his customers.
“What we are trying to do is avoid hoarders,” he said. “We don’t want people coming in and buying everything we got.”
Smith’s Food and Drug in Kimball Junction is taking similar steps. Kroger, the nationwide grocery chain that includes Smith’s, detailed some of the steps its stores are taking to keep its patrons and employees safe during the coronavirus outbreak. Those steps include cleaning common areas more often, including cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, conveyor belts and food service counters, and cleaning shelves when restocking products. In addition, Kroger’s announcement said employees who need financial support due to the outbreak can get it through the company’s Helping Hands fund.
As frantically busy as it’s been at The Market, Holm said the thing that has struck him most is the behavior of the community as they face an uncertain future.
“We are so grateful that everyone has been so patient and kind,” he said. “No one is fighting over products. In fact, I’ve seen people saying, ‘Here, you take it. I’ll get it next time.’ That kind of thing.
“And people have been very respectful and complimentary to us, as well. I’m just very grateful for the peace.”
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Park City and Summit County make the Park Record's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
Park City has hired two deputy city managers, tapping a former high-ranking Sundance Film Festival official for one of the posts and a onetime top staffer in the Moab municipal government for the other.